We spoke with the RFS Mid North Coast team regarding an interesting incident that NSW RFS and FRNSW attended.
On 9/1/17 17:47, RFS and FRNSW received a call to a reported structure fire at very vague and unspecific address, but with a bit of local knowledge we were able to determine the actual location to be the Rail Bridge over the Bellingen River, Mylestom Drive Repton. FRNSW P476, RFS Urunga 1 and Fernmount 1 responded.
On arrival we found a number of sleepers (transoms) smouldering on the bridge. Due to being in the rail corridor, we couldn’t enter before speaking with rail authorities, but once that was completed we gained clearance for fire crews and an onsite contractor to access the bridge.
After investigating, we found a section of the scaffolding had caught fire which had spread to the sleepers on the bridge and the scaffolding below. Contractors had been cutting with oxy earlier in the day and something must have remained hot enough to ignite the plywood walkways on the scaffolding after the contractor left.
We were able to use a garden hose which the onsite contractor had connected to the water main on the bridge, along with knap sacks from our appliances.